This week, WWE Raw pulled in its lowest ratings of the year thanks in part to the NBA Playoffs. On Tuesday, Smackdown Live was also going up against an NBA Playoff game — one featuring LeBron James, no less, but surprise of surprises: the first episode of the Jinder Mahal Era was a rousing success, garnering Smackdown’s biggest demographic ratings in over a month. The system works!
While Raw was focused on setting up Extreme Rules, which is still a month away, Smackdown was able to be the actual fallout show for Sunday’s Backlash, which had a shocking ending that people are still talking about. A combination of the fallout, fans curious to see Jinder Mahal’s first episode as WWE Champion, and the beginning of the setup to the always-anticipated Money in the Bank match all combined to equal ratings gold, baby!
ShowBuzz Daily relayed the news that Smackdown Live was the No. 3 show on cable for Tuesday, behind the NBA game and its postgame wrap. Smackdown drew in 2.328 million viewers, which is a seven percent increase from last week’s number. While that raw viewer number is lower than the 2.348 million people who watched the show two weeks ago, a 0.8 in the 18-49 demographic was the best since Smackdown’s 0.81 rating on April 18th. The demo rating was a whopping 18 percent increase from last week.
While Smackdown didn’t exactly beat Raw in the ratings this week, them gaining viewers after their PPV a day after Raw lost viewers is a serious feather in their cap. And you can bet this bodes well for Jinder Mahal’s status as a world champion and main event player … at least for this week.